Allianz HL Div 2A: Deadly Devine keeps Lake Men on course
Westmeath 1-20 Kerry 0-16
A strong finish by Westmeath saw them maintain their 100pc record in the round robin section of league in Mullingar yesterday afternoon, their seven-point win against Kerry eliminating the visitors and setting up a final against Carlow.
There was very little between the two teams in the first-half as Padraig Boyle and Derek McNichol traded early points. A 10th-minute point by John Gilligan had the home team ahead by two points (0-3 to 0-1) - the biggest margin of the half.
Both Allan Devine and Shane Conway were on song from placed balls, and Devine's 60-metre conversion with the last puck of the half had Michael Ryan's troops ahead 0-10 to 0-9 at the interval.
Westmeath led by 0-13 to 0-12 when Devine found the net in the 44th minute. Seven minutes later Fintan O'Connor's charges were down to 14 men after Jack Goulding picked up a second yellow card.
However, the home team struggled to put away their plucky opponents. Padraig Boyle was well wide with a blast at goal from a close-range free in the 65th minute when his side trailed by a goal.
There were just two points between the teams (1-15 to 0-16) at the end of normal time, but the table-toppers finished in style by scoring five unanswered points via Killian Doyle, Cormac Boyle, and impressive substitutes Darragh Clinton (two) and Niall O'Brien (one).
Westmeath are now just one victory away from promotion and will be hoping for a repeat of their win against Carlow last January when the sides meet in the divisional final.
Scorers - Westmeath: A Devine 1-10 (6f, 2'65's), K Doyle 0-4, D Clinton 0-2, J Gilligan, N O'Brien, C Boyle, D McNicholas (f) 0-1 each. Kerry: S Conway 0-10 (10f), P Boyle 0-2 (1f), P O'Connor, J Conway, B O'Leary, J Goulding 0-1 each.
Westmeath - P Carroll 7; S Power 8, T Doyle 6, G Greville 6; A Craig 6, P Greville 6, D McNicholas 7; R Greville 6, C Boyle 6; J Gilligan 7, K Doyle 7, A Devine 8; C Doyle 6, N Mitchell 5, E Price 6. Subs: N O'Brien 6 for Mitchell (53), D Clinton 7 for C Doyle (60), S Clavin n/r for Devine (70 +3), D Egerton n/r for Boyle (70 +6).
Kerry - M Stackpoole 6; J Buckley 6, B Murphy 7, S Weir 6; T O'Connor 5, M Boyle 7, D Collins 6; B Barrett 6, P O'Connor 7; D Griffin 5, P Boyle 7, B O'Leary 6; J Conway 6, S Conway 8, J Goulding 6. Subs: S Nolan 6 for Griffin (45), B O'Mahony 6 for Conway (45), D Dineen 6 for T O'Connor (52), C Harty 6 for P O'Connor (58), T Murnane n/r for O'Leary (65).
Ref - G Quilty (Kilkenny).
Nolan shines as Carlow prevail
Carlow 0-20 Meath 1-13
Carlow booked their place in the Division 2A decider against 13-man Meath in a tetchy encounter at Trim yesterday.
However, victory came at a cost as John Michael Nolan was red carded on the stroke of full time and could now miss the final against Westmeath. Meath's Darragh Kelly was dismissed in the same incident after Keith Keoghan had earlier being sent off on the half-hour mark after a second yellow card.
Meath, with Jack Regan in fine scoring form, built up a 0-6 to 0-2 lead by the end of the opening quarter. However, Carlow dominated from there to the break and thanks to the accuracy of Martin Kavanagh and Chris Nolan they had drawn level by the 28th minute.
Nolan pointed them ahead for the first time and they eventually led 0-8 to 0-7 at the break. The visitors could have led by more at half-time, but Meath keeper Shane McGann produced fine saves to deny Kavanagh and Nolan.
Meath were back level within a minute of the restart and remained in contention throughout the third quarter despite their numerical disadvantage.
Carlow gradually stretched their lead and with James Doyle impressing on the edge of the square they eventually went seven points clear by the 58th minute. A goal from Anthony Forde gave the Meath men a glimmer of hope in the closing stages, but they never seriously threatened the Carlow lead.
Scorers - Carlow: C Nolan 0-6 (1f), M Kavanagh (4fs), J Doyle 0-4 each, D English (f), D Byrne, JM Nolan, P Coady, D Murphy (f), R Kelly 0-1 each. Meath: J Regan 0-10 (7f, 1 '65), A Forde 1-1, S Quigley, P Conneely 0-1 each.
Carlow - B Tracey 7; A Corcoran 7, Paul Doyle 7, M Doyle 6; E Nolan 7, D English 7, R Coady 7; J Kavanagh 7, D Byrne 8; S Murphy 6, P Coady 7, JM Nolan 6; M Kavanagh 8, J Doyle 8, C Nolan 8. Subs: R Kelly 6 for M Doyle (45), J Murphy 6 for J Kavanagh (49), E Byrne 6 for M Kavanagh (59), D Murphy 6 for P Coady (61), K McDonald for C Nolan (66).
Meath - S McGann 8; S Geraghty 6, D Healy 6, N Weir 6; J Keena 7, D Kelly 7, S Brennan 7; A Forde 7, K Keoghan 5; J Regan 8, J Toher 7, J Kelly 6; P Conneely 6, E Marsh 6, A Douglas 6. Subs: S Morris 6 for Toher (50), A Gannon 6 for Marsh (54), S Quigley 6 for Conneely (56), C McCabe 6 for Douglas (58).
Ref - G McGrath (Wexford).
Murphy condemns Kildare
London 1-19 Kildare 0-15
Colin Nelson's 13th-minute goal and 11 points from Richie Murphy ensured London retained their Division 2A league status at McGovern Park on Saturday, at the expense of Joe Quaid's Lilywhites.
Mark Delaney might have hit the net for the visitors early on, but thereafter the first-half belonged to London. Six minutes later Nelson found the net and that saw London open up a five-point cushion.
They increased that lead to 1-13 to 0-6 at the break, inspired by Kevin Reid and Murphy.
Despite London registering the opening two scores of the second-half, Kildare were a different animal after the break, but the Lilywhites couldn't get closer than seven points and London comfortably saw the game out.
The defeat sends Kildare back down after three years in Division 2A, while the Exiles retain the Division 2A status they won with promotion in 2013.
Scorers - London: R Murphy 0-11 (7f, 2'65); C Nelson 1-1; K Reid, O Sheil, D Roberts, H Vaughan, C McAlinden, S Lawless, K Burke 0-1 each. Kildare: J Burke 0-6 (4fs); M Fitzgerald 0-3 (1 f); M Delaney 0-2 (1f); K Whelan, B Byrne, E O'Neill, C Bonus 0-1 each.
London - J Barrett 6; L Murphy 7, B Regan 7, C Hickey 8; C McAlinden 7, K Reid 9, K Burke 7; A O'Leary 7, O Sheil 8; H Vaughan 8, R Murphy 8, M Duggan 7; D Roberts 8, C Nelson 8, S Lawless 8. Subs: M Ivors 6 for S Lawless (50), K O'Loughlin 6 for M Duggan (55); A Sheehan 6 for C Nelson (55); A Griffiths (on too late for rating) for O Sheil (67), C Lordan (on too late for rating) for D Roberts (70).
Kildare - P Dermody 6; C Forde 6, J Doran 7, P Sullivan 6; N O'Muineachain 6, M Moloney 7, M Grace 7; M Fitzgerald 8, B Byrne 7; J Burke 8, P Divilly 6, K Whelan 6; M Delaney 6, É O'Neill 7, C Bonus 6. Subs: D Cahill for M Maloney (blood sub 20); M Maloney for D Chaill (35); S Ryan 7 for P Divilly (half-time), J Sheridan 6 for C Bonus (40); P McKenna 6 for P Dermody (51); D Cahill 6 for N O'Muineachain (56); C Dowling (on too late for rating) for K Whelan (67).
Ref - R McGann (Clare).